Feb 17, 2016
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Vera Wang brings Modigliani, Giacometti to NY runway

Feb 17, 2016

Designer to the stars Vera Wang shored up her artistic clout Tuesday by sending models down the New York runway in towering platforms and elongated cuts inspired by Modigliani and Giacometti.

The designer, best known for designing wedding gowns for the rich and famous, presented a collection steeped in the long, lean, sculptural image of the European artists, whose 20th century masterpieces are fetching record prices.

"I wanted to find my own new proportion and my own new silhouette," Wang told AFP backstage as New York stood shrouded in thick gray skies and heavy rain.

The show opened with a Schubert piano impromptu rippling out of loudspeakers as models strode the catwalk in black and white cut out suits -- almost apron style -- adorned with straps and buckles on the hip.

The strap and buckle accessory was dominant, stretching across the back of blazers and sitting on hips. She presented shorts, hemmed with delicate lace, paired with sharp blazers and knee-high boots, floaty barely-there chiffon print dresses and pleated skirts slit to the thigh.

"The precision, the elegance and the control of fencing and the beauty of fencing, see the way those plastrons are cut and how it shapes the arm hole and the body," Wang explained.

The models were kitted out in high platform shoes with giant soles, which Wang called sock shoes. "You put them on, they're almost like a sock and it's half platform, half heel," she said.

Wang also made ample use of fur -- multi-colored racoon coats, gray mink and chartreuse racoon vests -- and for evening nude tulle camisole gowns with long rectangular panels of metallic sequins.

Uptown, newly minted billionaire and newly engaged Tory Burch launched day six of Fashion Week with a bright, preppy collection inspired by her childhood love of horseback riding -- and a scene from a French movie about marital fidelity.

Burch offered a respite of color, optimism and sunny good nature for her fall/winter 2016 collection as rain poured down beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall.

The show opened with a vibrant jockey pattern used in patchwork effect. There were colorful woolen coats, crisp white shirts livened up with jockey-print satin sleeves, and a diamond-patterned sequin and satin dress.

Delicate blue and white paisley looked like Chinese porcelain, and lame silk in a tunic and a peplum dress shimmered in the light. Colors were dusty pink, green, orange and plaid check.

The entrepreneur who has forged a global empire -- and who Forbes says is worth $1 billion -- recently got engaged to Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, and was sporting an enormous rock on her finger.

She said she was inspired by the cafe scene in 1972 film "L'amour l'apres-midi" by French director Eric Rohmer and her childhood love of horseback riding -- a refined take on sportswear classics.

"I've been designing sport now with our sport collection, and I've wanted to do that maybe seven years, and we launched six months ago, and it's really informed the main collection too," she told AFP.

"I love the combination. I mean the tomboy in me really loves it," she said. "I think it's how I want to dress," she added, wearing an orange and navy silk dress from the collection with a horse print.

Fashion Week has seen designers start to shift focus as social media means customers no longer want to wait six months between first seeing catwalk presentations and being able to buy the clothes in a store.

Burch said select pieces from her latest collection -- such as the track pants and track suit -- would be available to buy immediately as a test run in what she called a "work in progress."

"I think the customer is in charge at the moment, so we're trying to do things, but not too quickly. We want to do things in the right time for us," she told AFP. "We want to test it and see."

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